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The wines that were the most esteemed among the ancient Romans were those perfumed with myrrh,1 as mentioned in the play of Plautus, entitled the "Persian,"2 though we find it there stated that calamus3 ought to be added to it. Hence it is, that some persons are of opinion that they were particularly fond of aromatites:4 but Fabius Dossennus quite decides the question, in the following line:—"I sent them good wine, myrrh-wine;"5 and in his play called "Acharistio," we find these words-" Bread and pearled barley, myrrh—wine too." I find, too, that Scævola and L. Ælius, and Ateius Capito, were of the same opinion; and then we read in the play known as the "Pseudolus:"6—" But if it is requisite for him to draw forth what is sweet from the place, has he aught of that?" to which Charinus makes answer," Do you ask the question? He has myrrh wine, raisin wine, defrutum,7 and honey;" from which it would appear that myrrh wine was not only reckoned among the wines, but among the sweet wines too.

1 Called "myrrhina." Fée remarks that the flavour of myrrh is acrid and bitter, its odour strong and disagreeable, and says that it is difficult to conceive how the ancients could drink wine with this substance in solution.

2 As the "Persa" has come down to us, we find no mention of myrrh in the passage alluded to.

3 See B. xii. c. 49. This is mentioned in the Persa, A. i. sc. 3, 1. 7.

4 Aromatic or perfumed wines.

5 Murrhinam.

6 The Cheat or Impostor: a play of Plautus. See A. ii. sc. 4, 1. 51, et seq.

7 Must boiled down to half its original quantity.

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